WSU Vancouver Campus Sustainability

Be Crimson. Go Green.While crimson and gray are no doubt our favorite colors at WSU Vancouver, we also like green—both the shade that so gracefully blankets our campus and green’s relationship to the 21st century concept of sustainability. At WSU Vancouver sustainability is not confined to a single department or discipline, it’s a value shared by faculty, staff and students alike. From stormwater management to recycling our glass bottles in the Firstenburg Student Commons, Cougars take pride in protecting our campus, our community and the earth.

Climate Action Plan

Read more about the Climate Action Plan (PDF)

Campus recycling

  • Mixed comingled items (plastic, paper, aluminum)
  • Cardboard
  • Waste
  • Glass
  • Lights (fluorescent bulbs)
  • Shredded paper items
  • Oil/lubricants
  • Filters (oil, air filters, HVAC)
  • Ink cartridges

Sustainability practices and operations

LEED goldLeadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)

Washington became the first state to enact legislation mandating that state buildings achieve Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Senate Bill 5509, signed by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire on April 8 and taking effect July 24, applies to any new construction or remodeling project of more than 5,000 square feet. Various types of laboratory facilities, hospitals, pumping stations, and research facilities are the only exemptions. The Silver LEED rating is the third-highest rating for high-performance sustainable buildings, after Platinum and Gold. (reference from

Did you know? Both the Undergraduate Classroom building and the Engineering and Computer Science building are certified LEED gold.

What Is LEED? Read more about LEED certification.

Green cleaning procedural summary

Campus procurement

  • Paper 100% recycled content
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Electric carts

Automated control systems

  • Irrigation water management
  • Irrigation via Rain Master ET system
  • Building automated controls
  • HVAC and lighting controls systems
    • 80% Siemens controls
    • 20% Alerton controls
  • Square D Power Monitoring

Stormwater Management Program

Washington State University Vancouver's Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) strives to reduce discharges of non-point source pollutants to stormwater to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) and protect its' water quality through permit-specified Best Management Practices (BMP's).

Campus storm water permit

Salmon-safe Certification

To qualify for Salmon-Safe certification, WSU Vancouver met rigorous conservation requirements. These included committing to further streamside restoration along Mill Creek to provide bank stability, shade and cover. Other measures included phasing out landscape chemicals harmful to the watershed, additional water conservation, further reducing storm water runoff from parking lots and buildings, and incorporating salmon-friendly design in future campus development.


  • Ponds
  • Swales
  • Riparian zones
  • Wetlands areas

Academic Sustainability

Environmental sustainability: academic resources, degrees, courses, research, and service (PDF)

Mitsubishi Jet Towels

WSU Vancouver is able to save 4000 lb of refuse from entering the landfill and reduce it’s CO2 output by almost 100 tons by switching from paper towels to the Mitsubishi Jet Towel in our restrooms. Read more in Analysis of Hand Drying Systems (PDF).